The NICU is a grind. It's full of uncertainty. Phrases I've grown to hate regarding the NICU:
- It's a roller coaster.
- Take it day by day.
- It depends.
- Every baby is different.
- When I got in, Nurse K told us that Andrew has a hernia - two, actually. Hernia's are very common in preemies, and I had read all about them in my preemie book and know they usually aren't too serious. They occur when a loop of intestines slide down into the groin area through a hole in the abdomen wall (that usually isn't fully closed in preemies.) The only way to fix them is with surgery, which will hopefully happen when he gets older and stronger. Unless, of course, they become hard or kinked, which could require emergency surgery (it depends!). Right now there is no immediate danger, and they will check on it every diaper change. Either way, another surgery for my boy at some point! So unfair.
- Andrew's weight gain has stalled. He hasn't lost weight, but has been hovering around 950 - 960 grams for about a week now. It's been on the doctor's and nurse's radar for a few days now, and they have increased his feeds (he's now getting 5.8 ml/hour) as well as the calories in the milk (fortified now to 24 cal/oz). He's still pooing/peeing like a champ, so they aren't worried about any obstructions or his tolerance at this point. Hopefully the changes will get him moving in the right direction (take it day by day!).
- I tired to kangaroo care again, and he wasn't tolerating it all. After a perfect morning, with his O2 requirement down around 37%, he began desatting immediately. We put him back in the isolette after only about 5 minutes. Not the end of the world, he probably just needs some time to recuperate after his big day prior, but disappointing to mom who wanted to get her hands on him again (it's a roller coaster!).
- Andrew got his last dose of Decadron (steroids) today. So now, we hold our breath over the next several days to see if he can hold his own without the help, or how big his backslide is breathing-wise. His oxygen requirements probably will increase, and there is a chance they could have to put him back on the ventilator. We'll just have to wait and see (every baby is different!).
- His temperature probe was acting up, and so the bed alarm kept going off saying he was too warm. Preemies can't regulate their temperature, so they rely on the warming of the isolette to keep them comfy. His temp probe fell off at one point, so the bed began to "think" he was cold (b/c the probe's reading dropped) so the bed warmed itself up. That warmed Andrew up too (when he really didn't need it) and so he was too hot for awhile. No big deal, but the freaking alarm is just so annoying and did a great job frazzling my nerves even more (#!%*!).